Sleepwalking, Skydiving and Shaq: Man Behind the Musing

Grace Black, a great writer of such dark beauty, nominated me for the Liebster award, a continuing chain of facts and questions for bloggers to get to know other bloggers. In typical ginger fashion, I procrastinated, drank all the coffee in Colombia (just kidding, Walmart) and smashed my head into the blank screen until the blinking cursor had congealed with my brain. Where was I? Oh yes. Prepare for bad puns, worse jokes and something or another about a ginger.

Minutiae Musing:

‣ Eleven random facts about myself

‣ Eleven answers to the eleven questions from the lovely, Grace Black

‣ Eleven new questions for three unwitting victims, I mean, bloggers

Just the Facts Musing:

‣ I was supposed to be a triplet, but either my sister or me devoured it before it could develop like some Rosemary’s Baby nightmare. Okay, I haven’t actually seen Rosemary’s Baby, but I feel like that reference still works. Kinda interesting to think about what my life would be like if there had been three of us instead of two. Maybe he’d be a wrestling fan, too. (Or another obnoxious football fan; I kid, I kid…)

‣ I used to sleepwalk and I remember at some point being hooked up to an EKG, trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with me because I’d see ghosts and shapes moving in the dark. My mom doesn’t recall this EKG part…Up to this point, my life seems horrific.

‣ I met Shaquille O’Neal in person after a Lakers/Pacers game in Indiana. If you’re not familiar, it’s this guy:


And the best part? I didn’t care. My brother was legitimately hyperventilating at this giant’s presence and I didn’t care. Granted, some of that had to do with the pneumonia shredding my lungs at the time, but still…

‣ I have something of a stairs phobia. There’s probably a proper name for it, but Google is, like, a tab too far. Anyhow, when I was younger, I was terrified to go down a set of stairs. Nowadays, I can and do, but there’s always that one second of fear that courses through my stomach.

‣ I imagine most of the people that pay any attention to this blog (a guy named Gary in Nowhere, Idaho and my dog) don’t know that I’m the Online Editor at The Miami Student and will have been in that position for three years come March. I also write a weekly column shockingly known as Milam’s Musings.

‣ There is quite the litany of known, famous, long-running television shows that I have not seen. For starters, The Simpsons. Then there’s Saturday Night Live. By “not seen,” I literally mean I have not seen a single full episode of these shows. I just started in on a few episodes of another long-running one I hadn’t seen, South Park, which is a great oversight on my part, as its right in my demented wheelhouse of crude, offensive and politically on point with its commentary…It’s also only in the past couple of years that I finally saw Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, as well…

‣ I’ve skydived before terribly hungover. I do not recommend doing it in that fashion. There’s this part where you’re spinning a lot. My instructor that looked like he’d fit in with ZZ Top (again, I’ve never even listened to them, but I feel the reference is apt), asked if I was going to puke. No, no. My stomach is pretty strong, you know with the soul not being there to take up space and all that (self-deprecating ginger joke #1).

‣ Related to the above, I’ve never been in a commercial airplane before. I was in a smaller plane for the skydiving purposes, to which, I’ve always found it neat that I can say the only plane I’ve been in, I also jumped out of.

‣ Out of six siblings (three sisters, two brothers), I’m the only one to not marry yet. Along with my twin, we’re the only ones left that haven’t made the awful decision to have children (I kid, I kid).

‣ The first story I recall writing was in Mrs. She-Had-A-Swedish-Name-but-I-Can’t-Remember-It’s first grade class, and we had the freedom to write anything we liked. I wrote some long, handwritten on loose leaf paper, FRONT AND BACK, story about a dude in a trench coat stalking a couple in a mall. Yeah, the darkness started early, folks. It won a Bram Stroker award. Don’t fact check that, please and thank you.

‣ Likewise to the above, the first poetry I recall writing was for a local library writing contest some time around the fifth grade. It was about bees or something. Somehow, a few schmucks thought it worthy of winning and there was actually a ceremony. I didn’t go because my brother’s birthday was happening at the same time at Montgomery Inn (a great rib place, if you’re not familiar). I love poetry, shout out to my main main, Shel Silverstein, the man that made me fall in love with it, but ribs>>>>>>.

You Can’t Handle the Truth Musing

1. Describe yourself as a genre of music and explain.

Maybe it’s because I’m listening to classical music right now — Maxence Cyrin’s Nocturnes (Solo Piano), check it out — but I think it’s fitting. There’s a power in classical music that doesn’t reside in lyrics — because there aren’t any. Instead, it resides, like in Cyrin’s work, within the beauty of the piano and the way its played. Likewise, from me, you’re not going to get some great oratory — I can’t wax lyrical in front of people. Social anxiety’s a real bastard. But there is a power that resides in me beyond that manifest in the pen. Sometimes.

2. Would you rather read the same book, of your choosing, over and over for the rest of your life or an endless supply of books not chosen by you in a genre/subject matter you deplore? Explain.

Oh, this is rather easy. The former, as I’d rather endlessly read and enjoy Harry Potter, living within that magical world than, say, having to wade into the lustful world of smut and romance novels for the rest of my life….

3. Blue or Black ink and why?

Black ink; it’s more macabre and me likey macabre. It’s visceral, too. It bleeds on the page in a way blue can’t.

4. Name a book we must read and why?

My go-to recommendation, which has yet to fail me, actually extends back to a recommendation that came from my uncle (wisp of smoke), Columbine by Dave Cullen. There’s an utterly fascinating juxtaposition at play between the two killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and their deeds (as well as lives) and their victims, as well as survivors. It’ll make you think, cry, rage and will most certainly stick to your brain.

5. Which word or phrase do you most often overuse?

I probably use innocuous too much. It’s a favorite word of mine, however, with how sweet it rolls off the tongue. My uncle would say “perpetuation.” I also have a proclivity for wanting to use the moon in almost every story. As an image, there’s just something about it that gets at my writing soul (insert self-deprecating ginger joke #2 here).

6. When you look at a menu in a restaurant are you a skimmer or a peruser? Explain.

My philosophy when eating out is to try something new every available chance. Sure, a dish I greatly enjoy, I like to have more than once, but most times, I’m seeking new adventures for my taste buds. I’m an easy-to-please eater with an openness for anything that won’t bite back at me. Plus, some restaurants really put some creative energy into their menus and I like to reward them with my eyeballs.

7. Would you rather ride every ride in an amusement park or none? Explain.

I used to be deathly afraid of roller-coasters. Actually, I still am, even after skydiving. I don’t know how that works. But in a masochistic way, I love the fear and thrive on it when at the amusement park. I’d ride every ride with my eyes closed, my stomach clenched and fear as a hard blanket, but all the same.

8. What’s the first thing you remember reading that changed the way you looked at writing and how did it change your views?

Deep question. Let’s see. Gah, it was probably Brave New World. Unfortunately, I don’t have that a-ha! moment in my memory bank, but Aldous Huxley’s novel seems a good place to hang my hat on. It was one of the first books I read and thought, “Hmm, writing can be powerful.” It can be more than just a form of escape. It can illuminate our current reality (or future reality, as it were).

9. Spring or Fall and why?

Hmm, gotta go with the fall here. It’s not too cold yet for me to hate my shivering existence. Moreover, and more importantly, it’s the time of the year where Halloween resides and Halloween is quite easily my favorite time of the year. It’s where we all get to be freaks and IT’S CONSIDERED NORMAL.

10. Write a flash piece about yourself in exactly 30 words including the title. (You’re welcome)

Typical Day

Hands in pockets, on desk, under chin, hands held; feet in front, across, in back; eyes forward, eyes shifting left, right, down; sweat everywhere. Only the first minute.

11. What was the hardest question to answer from this list and why?

Meta musing! Probably #8 because it bugs me that there isn’t some book that immediately springs to mind as having influenced my writing philosophy and such.

My Precious Musings:

1. Having a role model seems a quaint notion in today’s society, but can you cite any in your life?

2. If you could rewind the clock on a regrettable moment in your past, which would it be?

3. What’s your biggest pet peeves related to writing and/or reading?

4. What’s the most  guilty pleasure book you’ve read in the last year?

5. Under-appreciated or known: Author? Musician? Actor?

6. If you could ask the writer you respect the most one question about writing, what would it be?

7. Favorite alcoholic drink (or if you don’t partake, non-alcoholic)?

8. What inspires you and tickles the muse lurking somewhere in your brain (or heart)?

9. Describe a day of serenity for yourself.

10. What aren’t you doing that you think you ought to be doing?

11. Using the word prompt “droplets,” craft an 11-word short story about yourself.


(aaand self-deprecating ginger joke #3)

If you’re still gracious enough to have lasted up to this point, I now nominate the following three people, whose writing I look forward to every week and whose lives I wouldn’t mind getting to know a bit better: Nancy Chenier, Casey Rose Frank, and Brian S. Creek. I’m pretty sure none of these fine folks have gone yet, so hopefully I’m not wrong!

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